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The 5 Most Common Causes of House Fires and How to Prevent Them

MAY 25, 2023

It’s safe to assume that the thought of a house fire is terrifying for everyone. A house fire is something no one ever wants to experience. Here are some of the most common causes of house fires and how you can prevent them.


1.    Cooking Accidents

·       Never leave the stove unattended while cooking

·       Keep an eye on what you fry. If you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells, immediately turn off the burner and remove the pan.

·       Slowly heat oil to the desired temperature

·       Add food gently to the pot or pan so the oil doesn’t splatter

·       Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Never throw water on the fire!

·       If the fire does not go out or you don’t feel comfortable sliding a lid over the pan, get everyone out of your home and call the fire department from outside.



2.    Heaters

·       Keep home heaters at least 3 feet away from bedding and curtains and do NOT hang clothes on them to dry.

·       Choose a heater with a thermostat and overheat protection

·       Place heater on a solid, flat surface.

·       Plug the heater directly into the wall outlet and do not use an extension cord.

·       Space heaters should be turned off and unplugged when you leave the room or go to bed.



3.     Cigarettes (Smoking)

·       Use a sturdy ashtray that has a stable and wide base. You can also use a non-combustible can filled with sand to collect ashes.

·       Soak cigarette ashes and butts in water before disposing of them to ensure they are fully extinguished.

·       Never throw burning cigarette butts or ashes directly in a trashcan.

·       Make sure you fully extinguish your cigarettes before disposal.


4.    Laundry Appliances

·       Have a professional install your dryer.

·       Remove the lint from the filter before and after each load of laundry and clean it with a nylon brush every 6 months. Also clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up.

·       Twice a year, clean lint from the exhaust duct that leads from the back of your dryer to the outside of your home.

·       If your clothes have anything flammable on them, wash them more than once and dry them outside or in a well-ventilated room.

·       Don’t run your dryer when you’re asleep or away.



5.    Flammable Liquids (Chemical fires)

·       Never store materials that can cause a fire in the sun or near an open flame or heat source

·       Store products in their original containers out of the reach of children and pets. Store anything that can catch fire away from your home

·       Use safety lock and guardrails on shelves and cabinets when you store materials. This prevents them from tipping of falling.

·       Only fil portable gas containers outdoors.

·       Don’t mix products.



These are just a few of the ways that a house fire can start. Always make sure to have working smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher in case of an emergency. Being prepared is key to protecting your home and family.



Nodak Insurance Company

1101 1st Ave N
Fargo, ND 58102